The subway platform at Clark/Lake
|Locale||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Daily ridership||44,584 (average weekday February 2013)|
|Opened||February 25, 1951|
|Operator(s)||Chicago Transit Authority|
|Line length||3.85 mi (6.20 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Electrification||Third rail, 600 V DC|
The Milwaukee–Dearborn subway is an underground section of the Blue Line "L" and is located in the Loop area in Chicago, Illinois. It is 3.85 mi (6.20 km) long and connects the northwest (O'Hare) branch to the southwest (Forest Park) branch of the Blue Line. As of February 2013, the branch serves an average of 44,584 passengers each weekday. Since the subway is operated by the Blue Line it serves passengers 24 hours a day/7 days a week and 365 days a year.
The Milwaukee–Dearborn subway project was funded by New Deal programs established by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. In 1937, the city of Chicago successfully applied for a federal grant and loan from the Works Progress Administration to fund the construction of two subway tunnels, the first of which would be built beneath State Street and the second beneath Milwaukee Avenue and Dearborn Street. In March 1939, construction began on the Milwaukee–Dearborn subway. The tunnel was buried deep to enable the use of a tunnel boring machine throughout the construction of the subway. Only brief sections were built using the "cut-and-cover" method. Rationing imposed by World War II delayed completion of the subway due to a shortage of materials. Construction on the Milwaukee–Dearborn subway, which was 80% completed in 1942, was temporarily halted to allow for the scarce supply of labor and materials to be used to continue construction of the State Street subway, which was considered a priority. In December 1945, the city of Chicago resumed work on the Milwaukee–Dearborn subway.
The Milwaukee–Dearborn subway officially opened for passenger service on February 25, 1951. In 1958, the southern branch of the tunnel was extended under Congress Parkway, past its former terminus at LaSalle, to connect to the Congress Branch in the median of the Eisenhower Expressway. A new station was opened at this time at Clinton Street. On February 9, 1992, the Chicago Transit Authority closed the Grand/Milwaukee station due to budget cuts and low ridership. The station reopened on June 25, 1999 at 6:00 a.m. On April 13, 1992, the Milwaukee–Dearborn subway closed due to the great flood of Chicago.
On July 11, 2006, a train derailment caused a fire in the Milwaukee–Dearborn subway, causing the subway to be closed temporarily. 150 people were injured to varying degrees but there were no fatalities. This incident occurred on the same day as the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.
On February 21, 1993, the CTA color-coded the lines, making the Milwaukee–Dearborn subway part of the present day Blue Line. The Blue Line runs 24 hours a day/7 days a week, providing service between O'Hare and Forest Park.
The route of the subway as it shows majority of the route in the Loop area
The subway platform at Clark/Lake, the network's busiest tri-level station
- "Ridership Report: February 2013" (PDF). Chicago Transit Authority. transitchicago.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Graham, Garfield. "Milwaukee–Dearborn Subway". Chicago 'L'. chicago-l.org. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Reardon, Patrick. "The Loop's Great Chicago Flood". Politics, Chicago Tribune. chicagotribune.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Chicago subway derailment injures 150 people". Life on NBC News. nbcnews.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Olson, Walter. "Chicago and Mumbai has subway incidents on the same day". Overlawyered. overlawyered.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.